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Politics / LGBT PopWrapped | Politics

Anderson Cooper Challenges Arizona's GOP State Senator On Support Of Anti-LGBT Law

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PopWrapped

@PopWrapped
02/27/2014 2:37 pm
PopWrapped | Politics
Anderson Cooper Challenges Arizona's GOP State Senator On Support Of Anti-LGBT Law
Media Courtesy of Getty Images

Gloria Ayee

Staff Writer

@GloriaYAyee On the February 25 edition of AC360, Anderson Cooper challenged Arizona State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Alvin Melville over his support of Arizona’s controversial anti-gay bill, SB-1062, which is being proposed to protect religious freedom. If the bill were passed, it would allow businesses and individuals to discriminate against gays and lesbians on the grounds of religious liberty. In his interview with Senator Melville, Cooper noted that Arizona does not currently have a state law that protects individuals against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Melville argued that SB-1062 is a preemptive bill that is designed to protect religious freedom, because in his opinion, “all of the pillars of society are under attack in the United States: the family, the traditional family, traditional marriage, mainline churches, the Boy Scouts, you name it.” When asked if he had any knowledge of a single case in which someone in Arizona had been discriminated against based on their religious beliefs, Melville was unable to provide any examples. If passed, SB-1062 would be a very broad law, which essentially states that “if there is a substantial burden on a sincerely held religious belief”, then that is something that can be raised in a court of law as a suitable defense in a discrimination lawsuit. While race, gender, and disability are all factors that have been included in anti-discrimination legislation in Arizona, the state has not afforded the same protection to issues of sexual orientation. This means that an individual could potentially be fired from their job because of their sexual orientation. Melville argued that he did not know of any individual in Arizona that would be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, or on any other grounds for that matter, suggesting that Arizona is more “people friendly” than other states. Watch Part I and II of Anderson Cooper’s interview with Senator Alvin Melville below:

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